Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated film, Killers of the Flower Moon, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lilly Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow, recounts a chilling chapter of American history involving mass murders.
The standout aspect of this Apple Original Film is the exceptional performance by Lilly Gladstone, an actor who cannot be overlooked. Gladstone takes on the powerfully complex role of Mollie, an Indigenous woman whose family and tribal community endure brutal killings orchestrated by a group of white men driven by insatiable greed and a thirst for power. Without a doubt, Gladstone’s portrayal in this film is nothing short of magnificent.
Who is Lilly Gladstone?
Lilly Gladstone is an American actor who proudly embraces her Blackfeet and Nimíipuu heritage. She first made her mark in the film industry with her debut in Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian in 2012. Following that, she collaborated with filmmaker Kelly Reichardt in two independent films: Certain Women and First Cow. Her exceptional portrayal of a rancher in Certain Women even earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.
Growing up in Browning, Montana, within the Blackfeet Nation reservation, Gladstone developed a strong connection to her heritage. Her upbringing provided her with first-hand knowledge of the exploitation experienced by the Osage tribe, although she only fully comprehended the extent of the “reign of terror” after David Grann’s book gained widespread attention. While acknowledging that some dramatic license has been taken in Killers of the Flower Moon, Gladstone believes that the film accurately depicts the events. She hopes that the film’s portrayal will shed light on the injustice faced by the Osage tribe, including the theft of their land and fortunes by white “guardians” appointed to oversee their money and limit their access to it.
Completing her high school education in Mountlake Terrace, a suburb of Seattle, Gladstone went on to pursue a BFA in Acting/Directing with a minor in Native American Studies at the University of Montana, graduating in 2008. Her background and personal connection to the stories she heard growing up in Montana fuelled her passion for bringing important narratives, such as that of the Osage tribe, to the forefront through her remarkable performances. With her talent and dedication, Lilly Gladstone continues to make a significant impact in the world of films and advocate for the representation of Indigenous stories and experiences.
Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter
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